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US Announces Investment to Adress the Roots of Migration

By Paloma Duran | Thu, 06/09/2022 - 11:54

The US government has announced that private companies will make significant investments to address the causes of migration in Latin America. The investments will primarily aim to support Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, as more Central Americans citizens try to enter the US. Despite the announcement of the long-awaited investment, experts still argue that the US appears to have a weak leadership in the region and therefore has limited control over the migration issue.

This week, US Vice President Kamala Harris announced that the government has raised US$3.2 billion in corporate commitments, which will be used to address the main drivers of migration of the region. Harris highlighted that she supports the investment initiative in Latin America to address migration, especially in Mexico and the Northern Triangle of Central America, as previously proposed by Mexico’s President López Obrador.

Harris said the US$3.2 billion will be divided into three packages. The first of US$1.9 billion was delivered by 10 companies. US$700 million comes from Millicom to develop cellular networks, US$270 million was raised by Visa to promote digital payments and US$150 million comes from Gap to promote the creation of 5,000 jobs.

The second investment package will be for the In Her Hands initiative, which aims to empower, train and protect women in the region as well as place over 1.4 million women in the financial and the digital industries. It also works to accelerate the participation of women in agribusiness, train them in basic job skills and promote gender equality. The exact amount of this investment package was not disclosed.

A Mexico-focused program to enhance the rights of domestic workers is also part of the investment program. The US$1 million project will include training and mentoring for organizations, employers and domestic workers and facilitate legal assistance for domestic workers.

The third package entails the US$50 million Central American Service Corps initiative, which will seek to encourage the labor integration of young people in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

Despite the announcement, experts argue that the US’ governance in the region is feeble. With the exception of El Salvador, the heads of states of the countries targeted decided to not attend the Summit of the Americas, where these initiatives would be discussed. Brian Winter, Vice President of the Council of the Americas, said Harris got off on the wrong foot because she is not seen as the key person to address the causes of migration in the region.

Last month, President López Obrador met with leaders of Latin American and Caribbean countries, reaching agreements on migration matters. He criticized the US for not investing in the region. During the meeting, the Salvadorian President Nayib Bukelele stressed that the region will no longer be passive and dependent on the US. Instead, the Latin American and Caribbean countries wish to unite to face the problem with their own resources.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
MBN, Reuters, The White House, France 24
Photo by:   WikiImages
Paloma Duran Paloma Duran Journalist and Industry Analyst